Enter Cathleen Schine, who wrote a really baller essay on cultural illiteracy and reading classics as an adult. She writes:
I got to read “Huckleberry Finn” for the first time when I was 35 years old. And when I eventually moved on to a different partner, there waiting for me was a new bookcase full of other books. I read “My Antonia” for the first time last month. That is a kind of grace.I feel this on such a personal level it is almost unreal. I read Catcher in the Rye for the first time two years ago (and you know what? Should have read it when I was 12. Not so good the first time around as an adult). I got through my first Faulkner (eh), and read (and enjoyed, for the first time ever!) To Kill a Mockingbird.
Some days, you have to enjoy being functionaly illiterate.